At Stockton Wood Primary School, our children are encouraged to develop an enquiring mind, to hypothesise, predict and question the world around them. Science at our school promotes the natural curiosity children possess when regarding our universe and promoting respect for the living and non-living things around us. We strongly believe that science is an inclusive part of our everyday lives. It crosses into all subjects and is not isolated from any. Science is not about knowing the answers but about making the discoveries. It is more important to ask the question than to give the answer. Science engages curiosity and inquisitive minds.
The science curriculum provides pupils with an understanding of the following domains of knowledge. Disciplinary knowledge is taught and embedded within the teaching of each unit of substantive knowledge.
Substantive Knowledge: Concepts, models, laws and theories
• Living things and their environment (Animals, humans, plants, habitats)
• Reproduction, inheritance and evolution (Evolution, inheritance, life processes, life cycles)
• States of matter (Solids, liquids, gases)
• Materials (properties and changes) (Reversible/irreversible changes, rocks, fossils)
• Energy (Light, sound, electricity)
• Forces (Friction, air resistance, gravity, magnets) Earth Science
• Earth and space (Seasons, day and night, solar system and beyond)
Disciplinary knowledge: Working scientifically
• Methods used to answer questions (use of models, classification, correlations and patterns, experimentation, fair testing)
• Using apparatus and techniques (accurate measurement, collecting and recording data, carrying out procedures safely and accurately)
• Data analysis (processing and presenting data, exploring relationships, communicating results in tables / graphs, identifying correlations)
• Using evidence to develop explanations (using evidence / scientific knowledge to draw conclusions, explain laws, models, concepts and findings)
The National Curriculum Science Programme of Study outlines what skills and knowledge children will acquire and develop throughout their Primary years. We believe that not only should children have a sound Substantive Knowledge and understanding of the key concepts covered in the National Curriculum, but also that the Disciplinary Knowledge and Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout their school years. This will enable them to use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments, explain concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings and ideas throughout their lives.
In Early Years, the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Curriculum and Development Matters document are used for planning and assessment. In the Foundation Stage, pupils experience a wide range of activities linked to ‘Understanding the World’.
‘Understanding the World’ involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. Activities are planned for children to play, explore, actively learn and develop their thinking skills in science through focused, continuous and enhanced provision. In Early Years, our children are encouraged to explore science through different resources using a variety of natural materials found in school and at home, fostering a sticky knowledge approach. This time is used to develop a broad scientific vocabulary introducing experiences of phenomena our children will learn about in later year groups. The links we develop between school and home exemplifies how families can support children with their learning. Staff use demonstration, practical work, explanation and assessment opportunities at the start, throughout and the end of each unit of science to address misconceptions, support the transfer of learning from one context to another and provide our children with constructive feedback to support their working memory for next steps in learning.